Q. Why give to the Annual Fund?

Unrestricted money can often be used in the most productive way possible, because it comes with no strings attached. One spectacular example of this was our unexpected opportunity to host the Declaration of Independence in May of 2011. We were able to showcase this exceptional document free of charge for thousands of people but incurred significant unbudgeted costs for security and staffing. We were able to absorb those costs because of generous Annual Fund donors.

Q. I paid my membership, isn’t that enough?

Membership dues pay only a tiny fraction of the true costs of conserving the Society’s collections and historic buildings. At the Rhode Island Historical Society, we believe that history is fun, and that knowing something about it makes us better people and wiser citizens. We believe that through our state’s compelling history an endless trail of fascinating stories, entertaining adventures, and instructive experiences can be followed. Annual Fund gifts make all of this possible.

Q. Why do you ask me every year?

Donors who give every year are particularly valuable, as they are investing in the work of the Society, year after year. Participation is key: every gift matters. No matter how small a gift is, it’s important. It represents a decision. Smaller gifts are often catalysts for larger ones, and the Annual Fund is the perfect place to put gifts of all sizes to work by pooling them during the year.

Q. When should I make my gift to the Annual Fund?

We always welcome your support, but a gift early in the fiscal year will help us accurately plan our income and expenses. Many donors find that the end of the calendar year is the best time to make a gift. Gifts made by December 31st can be deducted from your taxes for the year the gift was made. The Society’s fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30th.

Q. Is the Rhode Island Historical Society tax exempt?

Yes. We are a federally recognized 501 (c)(3) corporation. Gifts to the Annual Fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Contact your tax advisor with specific questions.

Q. My company will match my gift, what do I need to do?

Contact your company’s Human Resource or Personnel department and ask for a matching gift form. Complete the form and send it to us with your contribution, and we’ll do the rest.

Q. How will my gift be acknowledged?

We will send you a tax acknowledgement letter shortly after receiving your gift. It will include all of the information you need to claim the gift as a charitable contribution. Additionally, all gifts to the Rhode Island Historical Society greater than $100 are acknowledged in our Annual Report. Please let us know if you prefer your gift to remain anonymous.